Mental Health and the role of traditional healers

Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) (2022)

MP4 Video; Duration: 01:29

Please cite as: Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), (2022). Mental Health and the role of Traditional Healers. [Online] Available at:

Webinar presented on 8 July 2022 by the Academy of Science of South Africa. The provision of treatment, care and rehabilitation services for people with Mental, Neurological and Substance use (MNS) disorders is a multisectoral responsibility. Traditional healers have a unique role to play, especially in resource-limited settings. It is estimated that there are about 200 000 traditional healers as compared to 975 registered psychiatrists – who mostly practise in urban areas and the private sector. Traditional health practitioners and those linked to faith-based organisations play a significant role in providing services for people with MNS disorders. These are often an entry point into systems of care. These providers, therefore, could play a significant role in identifying people with such disorders, and in some cases, have worked cooperatively with health services in providing for the mental health and spiritual needs of individuals. There is a need to understand the role of traditional health practitioners in mental health care. This webinar seeks to understand the role, knowledge, attitude, and practice of traditional healers in mental health care with the aim to encourage their participation in terms of the treatment, care and rehabilitation of people with MNS disorders.

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Author and contributor ORCIDs: Sekhejane, Palesa ORCID; Sodi, Tholene ORCID; Qwebani-Ogunleye, Tozama ORCID
Publisher: Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
Sponsorship: Janssen Pharmaceutica (Pty) Ltd (South Africa)
Peer review status: Non-Peer Reviewed